Religion and Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century England: Theological Debate from Locke to Burke

Clarendon Press (1998)
B. W. Young describes and analyses the intellectual culture of the eighteenth-century Church of England, in particular relation to those developments traditionally described as constituting the Enlightenment. It challenges conventional perceptions of an intellectually moribund institution by contextualising the polemical and scholarly debates in which churchmen engaged. In particular, it delineates the vigorous clerical culture in which much eighteenth-century thought evolved. The book traces the creation of a self-consciously enlightened tradition within Anglicanism, which drew on Erasmianism, seventeenth-century eirenicism and the legacy of Locke. By emphasizing the variety of its intellectual life, the book challenges those notions of Enlightenment which advance predominantly political interpretations of this period. Thus, eighteenth-century critics of the Enlightenment, notably those who contributed to a burgeoning interest in mysticism, are equally integral to this study.
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